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February 21, 2012

Hello Colleagues,

We hope everyone had a restful and enjoyable holiday weekend. As promised, we wanted to update you on what is happening regarding our accreditation response. Attached is a task list the Accreditation Steering Committee put together last Monday. Kevin and I have been working to identify individuals to perform these tasks and many tasks are currently underway. If there is something on this list that YOU would like to help with let us know. Kevin, Kasey and I also put together detailed information for all three recommendations. Hopefully, you will take the opportunity to read the recommendation and the cited standards, excerpts from our 2008 Self-Study and each year's follow-up reports.

On Wednesday, February 15 the Accreditation Steering Committee and other interested colleagues met with John Nixon, former ACCJC commissioner to hear his thoughts on what Cuesta needs to do to satisfy our remaining three recommendations and meet the expectations of the ACCJC. The discussions with John were very informative and insightful. In short, John was very forthcoming in telling us that Cuesta has spent a lot of time on developing plans, but not as much time on planning. John's advice was that we need to clearly define what integrated ongoing planning and assessment is at Cuesta and demonstrate that this process (or these processes) are being used, at all levels, to make decisions about resource allocation. It is also important that Cuesta can articulate and demonstrate how ongoing assessment of our planning processes is occurring and how these assessments are being used for continuous improvement of our planning processes. John's comments were very encouraging and helped us all realize that WE can satisfy our deficiencies. As John stated, many colleges tend to over think these things and make them more complicated then they need to be. "What you should aim for is simplicity and elegance." We are fortunate that John was able to provide his services to Cuesta at no cost, given his role with the commission, and made himself available to answer any questions we might have in the future.

The day following John's visit, Kevin, Allison, and I got together to map out a model of what integrated planning at Cuesta looks like and how all our plans and processes are connected. We will share this model with the Accreditation Steering Committee tomorrow for further refinement. Once we have come to agreement on what integrated planning looks like for Cuesta we will communicate this model to the rest of the campus so everyone understands the process and will then begin defining and implementing the assessment strategies of these processes.

Eva Conrad will meet with the Accreditation Steering Committee and others February 27-29th. She will conclude her visit with the President's Forum: Wednesday, February 29 at 12:30-1:30 pm in room 5401 in SLO with Polycom to N1015. During the Forum Eva will be available to answer your questions. Please attend and get the latest update on the work accomplished during her visit.

The Accreditation Website is now up and running and will be reviewed by the Accreditation Steering Committee tomorrow. We will send the link college wide on Thursday. Also, the PDC now houses the Accreditation Room, all the documents and materials related to accreditation are available for your use. Please feel free to stop by and review the materials and reports.

Lastly, since Monday was a holiday, the Accreditation Steering Committee is meeting tomorrow, Wednesday, Feb. 22 from 2-4 pm in the PDC. Next week, we will go back to our regular schedule of Monday meetings from 2-4. Please come to a meeting if you have any questions or comments, or feel free to contact either Kevin or me.


Deb and Kevin

Deborah Wulff
Dean of Academic Affairs
Cuesta College 
805 546-3125